Q: My kids are still young but we'd like to get a dog. Which breeds are best with children?
A: Breeds were created by humans for the express purpose of accomplishing certain tasks: sporting dogs retrieve game, herding dogs corral sheep, and working dogs guard the house.
With kids in the house, it's generally better to select a type of dog bred to live and work closely with people, such as sporting or companion dogs. I know firsthand the joy of Golden Retrievers and retired racing Greyhounds, but Boston Terriers, Laboradors, King Charles Spaniels, Dachshunds, and Poodles, just to mention a few, are great dogs as well.
Other factors to consider are care and maintenance. The Greyhound requires minimal coat care, while the Poodle (standard or otherwise) needs a lot of grooming. Poodles, however, don't shed, are extremely intelligent, and an excellent choice for people with allergies.
Before you think about breeds, however, the more fundamental question to ask yourself is, “Do I personally have the time to train a dog and supervise her around my children?”
Getting a dog is a huge responsibility—especially if you have children. In many circumstances, I suggest waiting until your kids are at least five years of age before bringing home a dog.
By Jim Burwell
Jim Burwell is one of Houston’s most well-known dog trainers, whose at-home dog training process, The Burwell Method, is the result of twenty years of experience.